Category Archives: children’s books

Grace Lin’s Story That Heals

Grace Lin may not know it yet, but she can heal a tortured heart. This is a power that the best creators of books for children all have, however Ms. Lin’s work, and two books in particular, have stepped in at a moment when help is most needed. The world seems turned upside down, but […]

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World of Books: Cuba

Recently I traveled almost the length of Cuba on a people to people, educational tour, something only possible recently because I am an American. For nearly fifty years this was forbidden. I learned so much about the people and culture. I brought copies of one of my books as gifts and listened to children playing […]

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Book People Bonding

This is a story about book people, a table, and some croc-a-mole. Once upon a time Ron McCutchan, then Art Director for Cricket Magazine, had a couple of pot luck meetups at my house for authors and illustrators working for Cricket. One reason was social The whole Emberley clan came: Ed, Barbara, Michael, and Rebecca. […]

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Review: Fear and Courage in Two Books

At the library I borrowed two middle grade/ YA books, both of which are astonishing. One deals with a realistic cultural issue frequently in the news, the other with nature rendered in a Gothic style. Each portrays a boy main character who is involved in something seriously scary, but who acts in courageous ways. Imagine young […]

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Finding a Critique Group to Nurture Your Fire

You’ve heard of Burning Man, right? The arty, fire-infused festival takes place each Labor Day week in the middle of the 400 square mile Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Disclaimer: It’s not kid rated, but does serve as a tantalizing analogy. Imagine that you are there in 1996 when 8,000 people come to witness it […]

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Rick Riordan is a Demigod!

Look at a picture of Rick Riordan.  You can see his quirky sense of humor in those eyes. Although he might feel like he lives on Mount Olympus considering that his books have earned him thirty-five million dollars so far, he’s really just a regular guy, right? No glowing aura, no apparent ability to morph […]

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First experiences at ALA

The American Library Association (ALA) annual conference, a ginormous offering for ALA’s 68,000 member librarians, was held this past weekend in Orlando at the newly refurbished Convention Center. Why should that matter to you? According to the ALA convention website, approximately 16,000 people who are decision makers concerning which books are purchased for their libraries […]

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Babl Books at ALA

I am excited that Babl Books, whose mission is to offer bilingual picture books, including mine, to kids everywhere,  will be at ALA this weekend. They are sharing a booth with We Need Diverse Books. Check them out if you go! BABL BOOKS will exhibiting at the  ALA Conference in Orlando – Jun 24-27 Find […]

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Author – Artist Residency Tips

by Joyce Audy Zarins If someone from a school overseas invited you to do an author or artist residency in connection with your picture book what would you do? I said yes even before I knew the particulars. If that would be your reaction, there are a few things you may want to consider to […]

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Big Sur on Cape Cod

I’ve just returned home from Big Sur on Cape Cod, a wonderful mentoring weekend for children’s book authors and illustrators organized by Andrea Brown and her most-successful-in-the-US literary agency, in coordination with Lisa Rehfuss. This event is held annually in California, and for the first time was offered here in New England (lucky us). The […]

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Interview: Totally Talented Brian Lies

I recently did an interview for WritersRumpus.com with Brian Lies, successful author and illustrator of gorgeous books for children. It was posted to coincide with the release of Brian’s latest picture book, Gator Dad. You can see his glorious artwork and read about him here. Bookmark

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Two May Residencies

Iceland, 2015 Being invited for an artist or author residency is such an honor. Last May I went to northern Iceland for a week long artist residency to help seventy kids in grades one to ten paint murals. The school was Valsárskóli in Svalbarðsströnd, which is across the fjord from where my son Eric and […]

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World of Books: France, Belgium and Czech Republic

by Joyce Audy Zarins In my small collection of children’s books from around the world, some help explain ways of thinking to the young. The world can be a scary and sometimes puzzling place, so clues are always useful. In Les Mammouths, Les Ogres, Les Extraterrestres, et ma petite soeur, as the title suggests, creatures […]

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Linda Sue Park: Ted talk

In this terrific TedX talk, author Linda Sue Park talks about a path to changing the world. Life is not fair, but stories engage the minds of those who can develop empathy and act in heroic ways. Bookmark

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Books going global!

Check this out! “Sand Dollar, Sand Dollar,” my first picture book of long ago, is now available on Amazon in five languages! French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Portuguese, and Tagalog. All are paperback and all have the English text also. The book is being reissued by a small Boston start-up, Bab’l Books, Inc., whose mission is to […]

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Yellow, the Noble Color, is for Emperors and Empresses

This is a review of two books with different target audiences that have one mission: to share some of the treasures and history of the Forbidden City in China with the world. They are voices from the other side of the globe. Can you hear them? Bowls of Happiness: Treasures from China and the Forbidden […]

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Galleta de Mar, Galleta de Mar

Today I received a copy of my book Sand Dollar, Sand Dollar in its final Spanish/ English dual language paperback version, published by Bab’l Books, Boston. I am excited to see this book in print again! I love the idea of reaching out to bilingual kids. And, its hidden message is environmental – that we […]

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Sand Dollar, Sand Dollar

I have a teeny bit of news, but it’s in five or six languages! My first ever picturebook, published in 1980 by J.B. Lippincott, then taken on by Harper and Row, which has been out of print for years, is being reissued by a small start-up as a bilingual paperback and Kindle book. Bab’l Books […]

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Advice from a kid: Miranda at age 9 and at age 13

A while ago I posted an interview here with Miranda, a very special person to me. Recently, I asked her similar questions about her reading habits and those of kids she knows. The answers show a trajectory  and are useful information for writers, so I also posted this on www.writersrumpus.com. Nine-year-old Miranda and I went […]

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Interview: Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis, Thriving Author/Illustrator

by Joyce Audy Zarins Also posted at WritersRumpus.com. “Armstrong-Ellis fills the page with slime and sludge, and careful readers will even spy monster-themed parodies of works from da Vinci, Cassatt, George Rodrigue, and other artists.” —Publishers Weekly Picture books by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis are filled with hyperbole and delightfully disgusting detail. Her most recent book, […]

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